By Aprilynne Pike.
The first time I picked this book up, I put it down again because of the uninspiring description, which ended: "... everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever." I figured if the book was really special, they would have been able to highlight something more intriguing than that vague promise.
The second time, I decided to give it a chance and started reading. I enjoyed seeing the little mysteries surrounding Laurel and was particularly amused by her brand of denial. I also liked how she develops friendships, with her friends helping to draw her out of seclusion.
You should be able to guess what I didn't like. (Ask if you want to know.) It also seemed to force the plot slightly, answering some questions in an entirely unsatisfactory manner. I also didn't like the name dropping scene near the middle: it wasn't nearly as convincing as the process of discovery Laurel goes through before and after that point.
Overall? I ended up enjoying this quite a bit more than I expected when I first saw it, but will still be hesitant about picking up the sequels. (Four books are planned for the series.)
And now a plug for the 2009 Debutantes: As you may have noticed, quite a few of the books I've read this year have been gleaned from this LiveJournal community for debut young adult and middle grade authors. Not only is it a great way to find new authors (there's also a 2010 community), these books often lack many of the elements I find unpalatable in "adult" books. The downside is that, being debuts, you generally have to wait a year to read another book by any of them. Take a look at their books.